Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is defined by NASA as “an air transportation system that moves people and cargo between places previously not served or underserved by aviation – local, regional, intraregional, urban – using revolutionary new aircraft that are only just now becoming possible.”
The Vertical Flight Society counts over 475 entrants in the AAM industry with new ones added on a weekly basis. AAM has also attracted significant investment from venture capital, private equity, SPACs, automotive companies, legacy aerospace OEMs and tech companies. However, mixed with the excitement that welcomes every new industry, there is a significant amount of healthy skepticism.
With all these entrants and all the interest in the industry, how can companies, suppliers, investors easily understand what companies will come to lead the industry, and which ones will not be as successful as they hoped to be? How “real” is the commitment of a legacy company or a startup to deliver a product to market?
The ARI is a rating tool, based on a proprietary formula that uses publicly available information as well as expert knowledge. It helps assess the industry entrants’ progress toward the delivery of a certified product at mass scale production. While at launch 14 OEMs were rated, the tool is periodically updated to include new entrants as well as any new information on existing entrants. We plan to expand the tool to other areas of the AAM ecosystem. The tool is un-biased and data-based. It is not meant as an endorsement or a critique of any specific company, but as a simple, easy-to-use guide to the complexities of the AAM industry.
The ARI is based on five elements: the funding received by the company, the team that leads the company, the technology readiness of their vehicles, the certification progress of their vehicles, and the production readiness towards full scale manufacturing.
The formula scores each entrant on a 0 to 10 scale. We use one decimal point as well to distinguish entrants, as there is clustering at specific stages in the product lifecycle. A 0 on the ARI tool represents a company just considering the market with little to no financing. A 10 on the ARI tool represents a company with a commercial product that is produced in thousands of units per year. No company at present would be able to achieve a 10, as no one in Aerospace is capable to produce thousands of vehicles per year.
We want this tool to be useful for the AAM industry. We invite all the AAM OEMs to contact us to update or include their information.
The ARI describes the likelihood of an OEM certifying their aircraft, entering service and producing it in thousand of units per year.
The ARI does not rate which OEM is first in the progress to first flight, EIS or certification.
The ARI takes into consideration OEMs developing passenger aircraft and cargo vehicles with a payload of 500-lb. and above.
The field with the arrows shows the rating change for each listed OEM since the last release of the ARI:
The field reports the up-to-date cash funding in millions of USD received by the OEMs at the time of the index release publication. "Corporate backed" indicates internal funding. "Corporate backed*" indicates a mix of internal funding and outside investors. The same information is also available in graphical form in the AAM FUNDING infographic.
SPAC related funding, that appears only in the AAM FUNDING infographic, is OEM forecasted at closing of the transaction and it includes PIPE, cash held in trust and transaction costs.
The use case represents the mission the OEM foresees for the vehicles they are developing.
The field describes what type of configuration the vehicle or vehicles adopt.
It details the vehicles the OEM is developing.
The first flight field reports the year in which the latest vehicle version has first flown. The EIS field reports the OEM announced entry into service year.
The ARI is updated periodically: it is not static. We document the changes in blog posts that detail the updates. We also notify the industry through LinkedIn and Twitter. We advise our visitors to bookmark this page.
The eVTOL OEMs have been very economic with the information released to the public. In order to prepare the hero image, we estimated the dimensions of each vehicle in cruise flight, starting from the publicly available data, unless provided by the OEM. The dimensions of all the AAM vehicles in the hero image can be found in the table below.
To make it easy to identify the AAM vehicles in the hero image, we have added a numbered spotter's guide with the legend in the first column of the dimensions table.
The hero image on the website was commissioned to talented aviation illustrations’ artist Marc Philipp Veenendaal (Instagram @marc_mpv). It is meant to show the OEM aircraft and their relative size.
SMG Consulting does not accept responsibility for any decisions resulting from the use of the ARI, nor we accept responsibility for the correctness or factual nature of any information gathered from any source regarding any company or individual listed in the tool. SMG Consulting does not claim to have complete information or imply to have access to private or confidential information on any company, project or individual listed or identified.